A man who was using a torch to cut into an empty steel drum at his residence in West Bountiful was flown to the hospital in critical condition after the barrel exploded Monday afternoon.
According to Deputy Chief Jeff Bassett of South Davis Metro Fire, the 60-year-old man was injured when a piece of the 50-gallon barrel struck him in the head during the explosion, which occurred at about 2:15 p.m.
Bassett said that firefighters inspected the barrel, noting that it seemed to be empty and dry but that there was a sticker on the side that warned its contents were flammable. Bassett said that no one at the house knows what used to be inside the barrel.
Calling it a “freak accident,” Bassett said that the residue was enough to cause an explosion that blew the barrel apart. The man had serious head injuries as a result and was flown unconscious via helicopter to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.